"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Is Julia Serano right that transwomen are female?

Is Julia Serano right that transwomen are female?

"A feature of Julia Serano’s writing is shifting justifications and definitions. At no point does Serano stick to one definition of female, as opposed to repeating, in different contexts, that all transwomen should be considered female...

Would we accept an argument slightly vague boundaries meant a definition free-for-all in other biological concepts, like species?...

Serano’s argument applied to species, would be something like: “Not all dogs have exactly the same genome, four legs, a tail, look like a dog is expected to look, etc. Therefore, the concept of what is and isn’t a dog is complex and somewhat variable. Therefore, a sufficiently dog-like cat could be called a dog.” That would be a ridiculous claim...

Intersex organizations have come out against attempts to use the existence of their condition for transgender advocacy. In the process, they draw a sharp distinction between a subjective transgender sense of internal gender identity and their unquestionably real biological condition, which has a well understood molecular biology basis. It is hard to see why we should prioritize transgender claims that the comparison to intersex is valid, over intersex persons who reject that comparison...

What we have are two very, very well separated populations. Even when you zoom in on a scale where any disorders are visible, only a few tens out of a million, are truly sexually ambiguous. This tells you sex is well described as a binary characteristic...

The incidence of people born with abnormal numbers of fingers and toes is between 1 in 500 and 1 in 1,000 in the US, similar to the number of people with abnormal numbers of sex chromosomes. If we aren’t lobbying glove manufacturers to accommodate strange numbers of fingers, or saying the number of fingers people have is a complex and hard-to-define matter, why is the transgender lobby trying to abolish the concept of biological sex?...

How about the brain studies on transwomen that Serano quotes? First, in general, finding that a male had a “feminine-looking brain”, does not prove they could feel like a woman and be aware of it, for the reasons given in the paragraph above: nobody is psychic. Second, this study in particular is flawed; the results do not prove any males have innately “feminine” brains. Anne Lawrence, an expert in transsexual and transgender science, dissected this at length:

The simplest and most plausible explanation of the Zhou/Kruijver findings is that they are attributable, completely or predominantly, to the effects of cross-sex hormone therapy administered during adulthood. There is no longer any reason to postulate anything more complicated... [Ed: This is on a study 'showing' that transsexuals have brains like the other gender]

Serano claims sex is socially constructed, which is to say, following the Wikipedia link Serano gives for the definition, “the natural world has a small or non-existent role” in the construction of sex. If biological sex is socially constructed, why has no transwoman ever given birth?...

No objective category of person can be based on self-declaration...

If the words male and female no longer refer to anything, they are scientifically and medically useless... Declaring transwomen as female, takes away language for women (female humans) to describe themselves and their bodies. Generally, it deprives humans of the language to describe their experience and needs as sexed beings, and to understand the world...

Sexual orientation as an attraction to men or women on the basis of biological sex, cannot co-exist with identity as a man or woman on the basis of an internal gender identity. Sexual orientation as a concept may become obsolete or widely seen as bigoted.

Even though most transgender people likely don’t want to erase our ability to talk about biology, the problem is that activists often do, and nobody appears to want to stop them. It is a mistake to characterize groups only by their average member: extremes matter, especially in politics...

We have to conclude the end point of trans activism is where we are forbidden to refer to the set of female humans. The demand is not that “transwomen are women”, or even that “transwomen are female” after all. It’s that women (female humans) must not be said to exist, by any word. This is a strange and sinister thing. It’s blasphemy by way of set theory. We’ve seen forbidden speech and even forbidden numbers; now we have forbidden sets....

[A] basic description of the reproductive biology common to all sexed plants and animals fails entirely to be transgender-inclusive, but relies on transphobic concepts such as biological sex, male and female. Even describing meiosis is transphobic. What are we to do, burn the biology books and smash the microscopes? Gender ideology poses a mortal threat to our ability to describe all complex life on earth.

Are we really to do all this in order to keep a small number of transgender activists in their Emperor’s New Clothes? But that’s where their logic leads, which so many governments, laws and institutions have swallowed whole. Whether industrialized human civilization can survive a successful transgender activist movement, is admittedly an interesting thought experiment."
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